NEVADA CITY (AP) — The threat of catastrophic wildfires has driven a California town to launch a “Goat Fund Me” campaign to bring herds of goats to city-owned land to help clear brush.
Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada began the online crowdsourcing campaign last month with the goal of raising $30,000 for the project.
The campaign’s website explains that because it takes time to secure grant funding, the town needs money now to hire goat ranchers because they’re only available this winter.
The ranchers have rented out their herds to other municipalities in California the rest of the year and were expanding their herds to meet demand, city officials said.
“Why not do something — and as soon as we can?” Vice Mayor Reinette Senum told the Los Angeles Times . “If we’re not proactive, if we don’t help ourselves, no one else is going to step up.”
The foothill community is about 47 miles southeast of Paradise, which was decimated by a wildfire in November that killed 86 people and destroyed about 14,000 homes.
City officials said booking a herd costs between $500 to $1,500 an acre. Some 200 goats can munch on an acre of overgrown brush daily.
City Manager Catrina Olson said she, along with residents attending council meetings to talk about the project, are excited about the impending work, an idea “that’s catching on because there’s such high fire danger in our state.”
“It’s an interesting way to run a city campaign,” said Brad Fowler, a local rancher working with the city to rent out goats. “I like how people can choose to spend their money.”
BANKRUPTCY POSSIBLE FOR PG&E AFTER WILDFIRES: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A newspaper says employees of Pacific Gas and Electric could learn this week if the utility will declare insolvency while facing billions of dollars in liability over its role in recent California wildfires.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Sunday that under a new state law, PG&E must tell its employees at least 15 days before a change of control in the company — including a bankruptcy filing.
That notice may come as soon as Monday. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
PG&E is in discussions with lenders about a financing package worth up to $5 billion. It would allow the company to continue operating during Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
State fire investigators blamed the utility’s power lines for causing a number of California wildfires in October 2017.
1 DEAD, 4 IN CRITICAL CONDITION AT MASS OVERDOSE IN HOUSE: CHICO (AP) — One man has died and four are in critical condition following apparent drug overdoses at a house in Chico, the Enterprise-Record newspaper reports .
A dozen people were taken out of the house Saturday morning and brought to hospitals, police told the newspaper.
The mass overdose appears to have been largely caused by the dangerous opioid fentanyl, Chico police Chief Mike O’Brien said at a news conference.
“Every indication is that this mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with another substance. That is yet to be confirmed, but we do anticipate confirmation in the coming days,” O’Brien said.
All of the people hospitalized were over 18 and most appeared to be in their 20s, Chico police commander Mike Rodden said.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed on six people at the scene and a total of 12 were taken to the hospital, Steve Standridge, chief of Chico’s fire department, said.
HEALTH OFFICIALS CONFIRM MEASLES CASE IN LOS ANGELES AREA: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Health officials say a case of measles has been confirmed in a person who visited several sites in the Los Angeles area late last month, potentially exposing a number of shoppers and diners.
The Los Angeles Times reports the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says people who were possibly near the infected person might be at risk of developing the viral infection.
Officials say the infected person visited the Santa Monica Pier and Blue Plate Taco restaurant on Dec. 26; Ralphs and Nordstrom Rack on Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena on Dec. 28; and Paradise Cove Beach Cafe in Malibu on Dec. 29.
Officials say people who believe they might have been exposed should call their health care provider before visiting.
WOMAN FOUND BLOODY ON STREET IS SUSPECT IN TODDLER’S DEATH: COVINA (AP) — Authorities say a woman found bloody and running down a Southern California street is a suspect in the death of a toddler whose body was discovered in a nearby townhome.
Investigators believe the young boy found dead Friday in Covina is the woman’s son. Covina Police Sgt. David Rodriguez says he expects the woman will be arrested on suspicion of murder once she is released from psychiatric hold. Detectives questioned her at the hospital.
Officials say the woman was uncooperative when officers found her spattered with blood but uninjured around 3:30 a.m.
Statements she made to officers led them to the townhome.
ARMED SUSPECT SHOT AFTER CALIFORNIA FREEWAY CHASE, STANDOFF: CALABASAS (AP) — Authorities say an armed suspect who led officers on a high-speed chase was fatally shot during a standoff on a busy Southern California freeway.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow said deputies who were investigating a domestic violence call in Moorpark chased the suspect when he took off in a stolen car.
The pursuit ended on U.S. 101 in Calabasas when the vehicle crashed into a guardrail.
A passenger in a car that was stopped while police confronted the suspect said she heard two gunshots. Lacy Butler said the situation was “very scary,” and witnesses ducked in their vehicles to avoid being in the crossfire.
Authorities said the man died at the scene.